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Eurogamer Expo 2012 blog: our highlights

Updates from the show floor, as this year's extravaganza concludes.

Welcome to the Eurogamer Expo 2012 blog - the home of insightful words and snazzy photos from the Eurogamer team, direct from this year's packed show floor. We've been updating throughout the event with news, impressions, soundbites and competition details.

Alongside all of that are the best of your own photos and experiences - share them with us on Twitter via the #egxp hashtag.

UPDATE #23 - Day 4 - StickTwiddlers after-party photos

Tom Phillips: We've just had the official StickTwiddlers Expo after-party photos through - there's a selection below.

Many thanks to Richard "kirth" Gwilliam for sharing them with us!

UPDATE #22 - Day 4 - Bertie's Sunday afternoon

Bertie: I wanted to quickly share a few more pictures from my Sunday afternoon at the Expo. I hope you had a wonderful time at the show if you came along. And if you didn't, there's always next year!

UPDATE #21 - Day 4, 16:45 - Your photos from the final day

Tom Phillips: Eurogamer Expo 2012 is drawing to a close, but there's been plenty to see on the show floor. Here's the best of your snaps from the last 24 hours.

We'll be updating later with pictures from last night's StickTwiddlers Expo after-party, too.

UPDATE #20 - Day 4, 13:36 - Hoarse business

Tom Phillips: A huge thank you to StickTwiddlers and everyone who came along to last night's Eurogamer community after-party. I had the best night of the Expo so far putting faces to forum names and geeking out over a cold beverage or three.

It was a night of zealous zombie cosplay (hopefully that false hand has now gone into a bin) and undead burlesque dancers (no words).

And to everyone who survived until the unofficial after-after party, I absolutely salute you.

So this happened.

UPDATE #19 - Day 4, 11:06 - The final countdown

Tom Phillips: Bertie has been scuttling around the show floor snapping photos from today - the final day of Eurogamer Expo 2012! Here's what he saw.

UPDATE #18 - Day 3, 19:06 - Cosplay roundup and official photos

Tom Phillips: If I asked you what Gordon Freeman, Juliet Starling and the monk-people from Journey had in common, the correct answer would of course be that they were all at the Eurogamer Expo today.

As I write this, a troop of Aliens: Colonial Marines are walking past me back to their changing room, one already peeling off his sleeve of tattoos. It is the end of a packed third day, so the perfect time to share some of our official photos of the event so far, as well as the best of your cosplay creations.

And it's not over yet! We're back for the final day tomorrow.

UPDATE #17 - Day 3, 18:25 - Lucid dreams and sad aliens

Martin Robinson: Despite having woken up with the suspicion that I spent last night licking the pavement, it's been an awesome day with too many highlights to list. But! I'm going to throw some at you anyway.

I fell a little in love with Dream, a surreal first person explore-me-do that's being developed by a trio of students on a year out from university. You're placed in a strange, beautiful landscape where CRT monitors are embedded in bright orange cliff-faces, and through your exploration you come across several small puzzles that work towards a grander story.

I made an instant, somewhat lazy connection to Dear Esther and Amnesia when first laying eyes on it, but it turns out that developer Hyper Sloth is actually channeling PSOne curio and classic LSD: Dream Emulator for a modern retelling. It looks gorgeous, and is full of the kind of enigma and hazy intrigue that makes for some of the best games. Definitely one to track down if you're coming down tomorrow.

Another game you should play if you get the chance is Introversion's Prison Architect. John Bedford's so taken with it that he's just donated $250 to its development, and in return he's going to be appearing as one of the game's inmates. I'm going to be giving Introversion another $250 if they make him the prison whipping boy.

And! The actual best bit of the day was when the guy who's spending his day dressed as an alien in honour of Gearbox's Colonial Marines got his tail trapped in a door. All of a sudden he didn't look quite so scary.

UPDATE #16 - Day 3, 17:56 - Bordering on brilliant

Tom Phillips: We're prepping a huge gallery of photos featuring some of this year's best cosplay (Mario, Hitman and Connor from Assassin's have featured heavily) - but I had to share this one first.

Borderlands 2 has only been out a matter of days, but that's long enough for one fan to come up with this masterpiece.

UPDATE #15 - Day 3, 15:36 - Get your finger on the Plus

Tom Phillips: A quick heads-up that the PlayStation chaps are dishing out free PS Plus subscriptions over on their blooming big blue Sony stand.

All you have to do is turn up and "Like" their page on Facebook at a special station - one of their helpers will show you how. Your reward is three months free Plus, with all the free game benefits it brings. Woo!

UPDATE #14 - Day 3, 14:07 - PaRaParazzi

Bertie: Snap! I whizzed around the Expo show floor yesterday and took some pictures. They're a mere taster of the delights the Expo holds.

Tickets are now completely sold out, so there won't be any available on the door.

UPDATE #13 - Day 3, 12:15 - Reviews: THE TRUTH

Ellie: Visiting the Expo today? Then why not come along to our very special panel session, Settling the Score: The Truth About Game Reviews.

Because you'll probably be too busy playing games or going to the other session that's on at the same time, that's why. BUT if you've always wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes at games publications, or the other thing is full, do come along.

I will be chairing the panel and we'll have representatives from both PR and journalism, including Rock Paper Shotgun's John Walker and international playboy James Binns. For full details, check out Oli's previous blog post.

The panel will take place upstairs (next to the main dev sessions) at 2.30pm today. I'm not going to let anyone leave until there's been an actual fight.

Hope to see you there!

UPDATE #12 - Day 3, 11:36 - Outside Xbox, inside Expo

Tom Phillips: Keep an eye out on the show floor for our lovely friends at Outside Xbox, who have been playing and reporting back on some of the show's biggest games.

The intrepid trio have already given their verdict on Metal Gear Rising, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Hitman: Absolution and DmC Devil May Cry. They even collared Halo 4 master chief Frank O'Connor for a chat about the series' triumphant return.

UPDATE #11 - Day 3, 11:00 - Eau de Colonial

Bertie: My favourite flavour ice-cream is raspberry Ripley. No, wait. I studied marine biology. No, wait. Take these puns Weaver pinch of salt. No, wait. Err I've run out of Aliens puns. But I haven't run out of Colonial Marines.

This herd of burly UFO killers guarded the Eurogamer editorial office at the Expo this morning. They've sure stepped security up.

UPDATE #10 - Day 2, 17:50 - The best of more of your photos

Tom Phillips: Here's more snaps from the show floor courtesy of you guys, who have played games, face-painted, cos-played and generally made the Eurogamer Expo an amazing place to be for a second day running.

Want to share your own shots? Send us your pics of Pikachu and Spider-Man sharing a sandwich using the #egxp hashtag.

UPDATE #9 - Day 2, 14:50 - Things wot I licked

Martin Robinson: I've touched, sniffed and generally just gawped at F1 cars for many, many years, but this year I got to go one step further and have full intimate contact with a Force India before the show doors opened. I'll spare you the photos, or any of the more grisly details (though I did resist the temptation to work from all the way from the wing to the tip). I've since convinced myself that my saliva has special speed-giving properties, though, and that next year I'll be much in demand on the GP circus - you'll see me clambering out on all fours during the pit-stops and slobbering over the dormant cars.

Elsewhere, I've been resisting the temptation to lick the selection of retro hardware that's sitting at the back of the hall, and also the assorted merchandise that's in the neat little alley at the side of the show (though I can't guarantee that'll be the case for the moogle I've got my eyes on once I get it home). I have licked a certain amount of the sweets available at Cyber Candy, and when trying to figure out which game was garnering the longest queues, I may or may not have licked the Call of Duty Black Ops 2 line.

UPDATE #8 - Day 2, 12:06 - A walk across the show floor

Tom Phillips: My journey across the show floor this morning took me past two very different gaming sights.

The first was a pair of hardcore gaming chums fighting over BaraBariball, one of the indie stars of Rezzed and a game I seem to be unable to beat anyone at.

The other was of a family playing Just Dance 4 (I will state for the record that me and Ellie are not propagating a dance-based agenda in both mentioning this, neither are we receiving backhanders to promote it. It is however the loudest game on the show floor - even more than the explosions of COD - so it is pretty hard to miss).

I can't remember the exact song that was playing, but when I walked by again a little later it was blaring out Rick Astley. Several passers-by were mouthing the words.

UPDATE #7 - Day 1, 19:00 - Doors close on packed first day!

Tom Phillips: That's it for day one! Kojima showed off the new Metal Gear Solid to a packed audience and Halo 4 wowed the crowds, while hundreds of you lined up to try the Wii U for the first time.

What have we been up to? Well, Bertie has been finding out how Skyrim inspired Far Cry 3, 343 Industries' Frank O'Connor told us the truth about nerfed jetpacks and the Covenant's role in Halo 4, and Mr. Metal Gear himself explained how you'll be able to build a base in Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes.

Those who attended last year will have heard of streaming service OnLive - Wesley has been speaking to its new boss, who explained why the troubled company would have to improve or "die".

Tomorrow brings Valve, Assassin's Creed, Need for Speed, Dishonored, Forza, and a little game called COD! See you then.

UPDATE #6 - Day 1, 15:28 - The best of your photos so far

Tom Phillips: I don't know how Twitter is still standing, but you have been Tweeting about the Expo in your thousands. Here's some of the best pictures so far from day one of the Eurogamer Expo.

Want to share your own picture? Send us your shots of Master Chief and Mario having a punch-up by using the #egxp hashtag.

UPDATE #5 - Day 1, 14:08 - John is bamboozled

John Bedford: I'd like to say I've found the time to get stuck into Dishonored and Prison Architect, my two personal must-plays this year. I haven't actually played either of those games though, because I've spent the first day of the Expo locked in the editorial room levelling through Mists of Pandaria for our impending review.

The show looks amazing from up here though!

[Ed. - We'll let John outside for some fresh air and water soon enough].

UPDATE #4 - Day 1, 13:00 - Hideo Kojima is in the building

Ellie: Less than two hours to go now until Hideo Kojima, otherwise known as Solid Snake's dad, takes to the stage at the Eurogamer Expo. I'll be quizzing him - with questions written by YOU THE READERS - at 2pm today. He's also going to show some footage of his latest game, Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes. I'm a bit nervous. After all, it is the games industry equivalent of interviewing Madonna.

I had a brief chat with Mr Kojima during this morning's technical rehearsal. Or to be more accurate, I gabbled on at Mr Kojima about hoping he was having a lovely time, and he smiled politely. Then there was a discussion about where the chairs should go. You'll just have to turn up to the session to find out how this was resolved.

The second-most exciting arrival at the Expo this morning was the Just Dance 4 truck. It's the closest thing I've ever seen to an actual Venga Bus.

Meanwhile, I was in the ladies earlier when another lady came in. You may not think this is exciting news, but this has never happened to me before at the Eurogamer Expo. The times they are a changin'.

Expect more news soon. Hopefully not toilet-related.

UPDATE #3 - Day 1, 12:33 - Bertie harasses Total War maker

Bertie: I stole Total War lead designer James Russell for a chat this morning ahead of his Rome 2 developer session at 3pm. I'll share that interview with you when I write my report about his presentation. But before then I wanted to share a lovely little quote about the mentality of the Total War team at Creative Assembly.

Said James Russell: "Our motto is: if we're not s*** scared, we're not trying hard enough."

Maximus Bertimus approves.

UPDATE #2 - Day 1, 11:00 - Doors open on first day!

Blue skies and a bloodied Carmageddon truck greet us on Expo day #1.

Tom Phillips: Day one of Eurogamer Expo 2012 is finally under-way! There were thousands of you in the queue this morning, and we salute you all.

Welcome to our new Expo blog, which aims to report the Expo's flavour in scrollable, web-page format. Expect familiar names to check in with their adventures from the show floor, plus any snippets we can pump out of nearby developers and the best of your own pictures and experiences.

A huge thank you to the fine Eurogamer folk who have already been on-site for several days making sure everything was ready - see below for photos of us rolling out the blue carpet and blu-tacking things on walls over the last 48 hours.

Finally, if you're coming to the Expo, keep an eye on the Eurogamer Expo Twitter for updates on the show, sneaky shout-outs about giveaways and other information on what's going on. We'll also try and answer any burning questions you might have ("Where's Pizza Express?" seems to come up a fair amount).

Day one, then. Exciting times. Today's developer sessions kick off with Halo 4, as series boss Frank O'Connor takes the stage at midday. Then at 2pm it's Kojima time! Will he show off more from Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes? You don't want to miss it.

UPDATE #1 - Day 0, 20:12 - Eurogamer Expo 2012 set up complete!

Eurogamer Expo 2012 is ready! We're counting down the hours until 50,000 of you lot come surging through the front doors tomorrow morning, Friday and over the weekend. Hopefully you're looking forward to it all too, and not just so you can get out of the rain.

But, before all that, a good night's sleep is in order. We've been beavering away for the past few days getting everything ready - here's a look at how it all came together.

See you tomorrow!

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